Tuesday, 11th December – Doubtful Sound

Didn’t have time in yesterday’s post to include these pics of the sunset over Wakatipu Lake just before we retired for the night.

On to today, then.

Had to get up at sparrowfart to be collected by a taxi, which took us to the Real Journeys office in Queenstown. All of two minutes. Weather not looking great to start with, which, unfortunately, proved to be the case all day.

Checked in with no fuss and the next stage was a two-hour coach ride to a small place called Manapouri, on the shore of, er, Lake Manapouri (“one of the most picturesque lakes in New Zealand”). Pity, then, that we could hardly see a thing as it was really misty, murky and rainy. It was here we collected our picnic lunch, included as part of the deal. Here are a few pics:

An hour’s trip across the lake to the West Arm of it, then an hour’s coach ride again over Wilmot’s Pass on an unsealed road to Deep Cove, where we were to begin our journey along Doubtful Sound. This latter coach ride proved to be actually quite interesting, as the coach driver was engaging and informative. Some nice scenery, too.

This is the only way to reach Doubtful Sound by road – it is a true wilderness (if you could see it properly…..)

Doubtful Sound from on high
And again…

At Deep Cove, we began our trip up the sound. The weather was really not at all pleasant – low cloud and lots of drizzly rain. It takes some imagination to see all of this in bright sunshine, but we tried. One can see that it would be absolutely spectacular in those conditions.

Seals on a rock near the exit of the Sound to the sea. We did also see some dolphins. Honest.

Back to Deep Cove after a somewhat anti-climactic experience because of the weather – I’d been really looking forward to this, but in the end it was a bit disappointing.  Balances out the huge luck I’d had with getting onto the glacier earlier in the trip, I suppose….

Can’t win ’em all.

On the positive side, the weather did improve a little as the day wore on and the picnic lunch wasn’t at all bad.

Why is it called Doubtful Sound? I quote:

Doubtful Sound was namedDoubtful Harbour’ in 1770 by Captain Cook, who did not enter the inlet as he was uncertain whether it was navigable under sail. It was later renamed Doubtful Sound by whalers and sealers, although it is not technically a sound but a fiord.

There you go…..

The exact same journey in reverse took us back to the hotel. We arrived at around 8 p.m. after a very long day’s travelling and went straight into dinner. Well served, very nice food, and most welcome.

At least we don’t have to get up at sparrowfart tomorrow – a long lie-in is most definitely envisaged. Nothing scheduled, so we’re planning just to take a look around Queenstown. I’m sure we’ll find something to do!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: